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UKCP Ethics Committee – Stakeholder Consultation for the draft Code of Ethics and Professional Practice – 2019

The UKCP Ethics Committee has been drafting a new Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

How to participate in the consultation

The survey for the consultation of the new draft Code of Ethics and Professional Practice will close on Friday, 5 April 2019 at close of business, and must be completed via the Code of Ethics consultation survey.

Please see the following documents relating to this consultation:


The original decision to begin afresh was in order to ensure that there was clarity about the values underpinning the Code, and coherence in its structure and content.

We undertook stakeholder consultations in 2016 and 2018 in relation to the draft of the Code, encouraging feedback from UKCP individual members, organisational members, colleges, faculties, other professional bodies, and the general public. The Ethics Committee gratefully received and took on board those comments and feedback.

Why a consultation?

Change of this kind affects all UKCP members, their clients, the general public, and the wider psychotherapeutic community. A change in the Code of Ethics can affect the therapeutic process, the work a practitioner undertakes with a client, the therapy a client engages with, and the trust the wider public has in the profession.

This means that all of those groups must have the opportunity to feed back on the terms of the change. UKCP’s Standing Orders sets out the requirements for consulting on changes. By completing the survey on the UKCP website, you can let us know your thoughts on this final draft of the Code.

What’s changed since the last consultation?

You will see in this draft that we have made the decision to split the Code from the other ‘parts’ that previously accompanied it. This is an important change we have had to make due to the UKCP’s far higher public profile. In these litigious times, we must ensure our Code is as succinct and unambiguous as possible to protect the UKCP from any attempts to find loopholes, exposing us to financial and reputational risk.

Therefore we are asking for your feedback solely on this new document: Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

Future projects and guidance documents

The UKCP places very high value on the essential and fundamental practice of ethical thinking and decision-making. It is integral to our training and our professional values. Therefore, alongside but separate to the Code, we will expand our online resources as well provide opportunities for learning and reflection to support you better in your ethical practice. Those guidance documents which have been split off from the Code have not been lost, and will be a part of those resources.

Consultation time frames

This consultation process is now open and will end on Friday, 5 April 2019 and is intended for all stakeholders, including students, trainees, UKCP members (including both individual members and organisational members), committees, faculties and colleges, professional bodies within the mental health sector and the general public.

We would be very grateful, if you are a Committee Chair or officer, if you would ensure that there is space during the consultation period to discuss the new draft code and formulate feedback with your committee colleagues.

Next steps after the consultation

We will collate and review the feedback submitted via the survey and determine if further changes should be made. That draft will be sent to the lawyers for a final review. The Code will then be sent to the Board for approval, and then once approved, communicated to members via the website.